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Washington Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney Form

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Washington Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney Form can be used to appoint an agent or “attorney-in-fact” to manage your property and assets. This means that the person you appoint will be able to act in your place, have access to your accounts and dispose of your property. It is therefore important that you choose someone that you trust implicitly and who has some knowledge of how to handle finances. This type of form is called “durable” because it remains in effect even if a doctor states you no longer have the mental capacity to act in your own best interest.

Laws – RCW 11.125.020(2)

Durable (Health Care) Power of Attorney – Appoint a friend or family member to represent your interests in regards to your healthcare for when you become unable to effectively communicate your wishes.

How to Write

Download: Adobe PDF

1 – Obtain This Document To Delegate Principal Power To An Agent

The template used to authorize principal powers for an Agent’s use when representing a principal is available on this page. The button under the image or link above will give you access to this file as a PDF file. Download this file to your machine and fill it out either on screen or by hand.

2 – Every Party Involved With This Appointment Must Be Identified

The title of this document will be considered incomplete unless the name of the Principal is included. A blank line labeled “My Name” has been included for this purpose. The Principal is the individual who intends to use this paperwork to detail the type of authority an Agent may use when representing him or her. Fill in the full name of this individual on the first blank space. The first article contains a blank space where the name of the Agent must be documented. The Agent is the individual who will have the right to perform the principal-approved actions defined in this document on behalf of the Principal. Present this party’s first, middle, and last name on the line before the phrase “As My Agent” The next statement, “2. Alternate,” will apply only if it is supplied with information. Generally, it is considered a wise precaution to name a party who can fulfill the role of Agent if the primary Agent named in the first article is either unwilling or ineligible to act with principal authority. Begin by re-entering the full name of the Agent in the first blank space. Record the name of the Alternate Agent on the space between the words “I Choose” and “As My Agent…” It should be noted that the Alternate Agent will not gain approval to use principal power unless his or her name is included in this document and the first Agent cannot or will not continue acting for the Principal. The next two articles provide the language to protect the Principal’s rights and the durability of this document. Make sure that each party signing this paperwork is familiar with the language here.

3 – Review And Define How The Granted Powers Will Start And Terminate

In “5. Start Date,” two checkbox statements meant to define how the principal authority being delivered here shall start. If principal power must be granted “Immediately,” then mark the first checkbox in this article. This means the start date will be the same calendar date the Principal uses as his or her signature date. If the Agent should only be able to use principal power when the Principal is diagnosed as being incapacitated, then mark the second checkbox. This means that the effective date of this document will be the calendar date that a physician issues a written diagnosis of the Principal’s incapacitation.The next two articles will discuss manners of how the granted powers here will terminate or end. Every party involved should read these articles. The language here will provide for a durable power that is under the control of the Principal. Thus, it would generally be considered inadvisable to alter any of the statements here without first consulting a professional. 

4 – Approve Or Restrict The Actions The Agent May Take With Principal Authority

In the eighth statement, “8. Powers,” will report each type of principal power that will be delivered to the Agent by default through this document. The Principal should read each action this statement defines. Examples of principal powers listed will enable the Agent to handle the Principal’s deposits, represent him or her before a financial institution, act in the Principal’s name in handling his or her safe deposit boxes, stocks, bonds, and property (real or personal). If the Principal does not wish the Agent to be able to take one or more of these actions, then it should be deleted or crossed out before he or she signs it. Next, a list of specific actions that can be approved for an Agent to engage in on behalf of the Principal has been presented. By default, the Agent is restricted from these actions however, if a checkbox next to a statement is marked, then the Agent will have the authorization to represent the Principal in that manner. The Agent can be granted the authorization to handle the Principal’s living trust if the first statement’s checkbox is marked by the time the Principal signs this document. If this statement is left unmarked, the Agent will be restricted from creating, amending, revoking, or terminating a living trust of the Principal. Mark the second checkbox statement if the Agent should be given the authority to make gifts in the Principal’s name. Notice that such gifts can be the Principal’s money or property. The third statement will allow the Agent to change the Principal’s rights of survivorship or create them with principal authority if it’s corresponding checkbox is marked. If the Agent should be authorized to create or alter the Principal’s beneficiary designation(s), then the fourth statement must be marked. The Principal will grant the Agent the principal power required to appoint other parties to wield the principal power defined here if the fifth statements checkbox is selected. If the Principal intends to give the Agent, the authority to waive his or her “Right To Be The Beneficiary Of An Annuity Or Retirement Plan” then the sixth checkbox should be marked. The seventh statement discusses the ability to create, manage, and terminate community property agreements on behalf of the Principal. If the Agent should have such authority, then the corresponding checkbox should be marked. If the last checkbox statement on this list is marked, then the Agent will have the principal approval to direct a “Trustee To Make Distributions From A Trust” with the same level of authority the Principal holds. The next two articles, “9. No Power To Agree To Binding Pre-Dispute Arbitration” and “10. Accounting,” will mostly deal with how the Agent may or may not behave and should not be altered without consulting an attorney or similarly qualified professional. 

The final two articles may be removed or deleted at the Principal’s discretion. “11. Nomination Of Guardian” will make a formal nomination for the Agent named in this document to be elected as a court-appointed Guardian should this be necessary for the future Article “12. HIPAA Release” names give the Agent control over the Principal’s medical information as per the Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act Of 1996 (HIPAA). These articles have been included as a convenience. If they are removed, deleted, or crossed out, they will not be applicable to the Agent’s role.

5 – Sign And Date This Paperwork Preferably Before A Notary Public

The Principal should read through this document thoroughly as it will be considered a direct representation of his or her intentions. If he or she agrees with every statement included in the final product, then the Principal must sign his or her name on the line “My Signature” and fill in the current calendar date on the line labeled “Date.” This document does not require notarization to be signed and considered complete, however, some entities may require it is notarized to take it seriously Such a stance is common and a security measure for the Principal’s benefit. If the Principal is having his or her signature notarized, then once it is signed, it should be given to the attending notary. This party will fill in the section “Notarization (Optional But Recommended).” In addition to the notary public section, there are two columns provided so that two Witnesses to the Principal’s signing may provide their credentials. Each Witness must sign the “Signature” line, print his or her name on the “Name” line, and supply his or her residential address to the “Address” line.